80 years ago, today, Hannes Schneider arrived at the North Conway train station to take the ski world by storm.
80 years ago today, a snow train arrived in North Conway at 7:40 a.m. and opened its doors to Austrian ski instructor Hannes Schneider and his family here to start a new life in New Hampshire. They were greeted with smiles and warm greetings from hundreds of Eastern Slope Ski Children holding their poles up as an archway for the family to walk under. The gesture was a beautiful contrast to what they had just escaped – the beginning of WWII. As an outspoken anti-Nazi, Hannes was arrested shortly after Germany annexed Austria in March of 1938. He knew he had to get out, North Conway native and world financier, Harvey Dow Gibson offered Hannes the opportunity to be the head of Cranmore Mountain’s ski school. Hannes taught his world-renowned skills and techniques, including the Arlberg technique to both skiers and instructors. Sadly, Hannes passed in 1955 of a heart attack in his North Conway home. He is celebrated every year at the Hannes Schneider Meister Cup Race, held at Cranmore in early March.